tv Today NBC December 17, 2012 7:00am-11:00am EST
good morning. you're not alone. >> olivia, josephine. >> president obama leads an emotional vigil for the victims of the elementary school shooting in connecticut and tells the tear-filled audience he will do everything in his power to prevent another mass shooting. >> these tragedies must end. and to end them, we must change. owe. >> a community saying good by to some of its youngest victims today, monday, december 17th, 2012. >> announcer: from nbc news, this is a special edition of "today," tragedy at sandy hook
elementary, with matt lauer, live from studio 1a in rockefeller plaza, and savi ysa guthrie, live from newtown, connecticut. >> good morning. welcome to this special edition of "today" on a monday morning. i'm matt lauer. savannah guthrie is in newtown, connecticut. the president's remarks at that vigil last night were moving, powerful. they were spoken, of course, not only as the nation's leader but also, savannah, from a heartbroken parent's point of vi view. >> no question about that. there were loud, audible sobs as the president read through the names of those who had fallen. the president wrote these remarks himself and i can tell you it contained a more forceful call to action than even some close aides had expected. before that he met privately with first responders and families of victims. the daughter of sandy hook principal, dawn hochsprung,
tweeted these pictures of the president holding her daughter, and said mom would be so proud but not as proud as i am of her. >> savannah, classes are set to resume wednesday for the students of sandy hook, but they'll be held at a school in a neighboring town for the foreseeable future as you might expect. the investigation into the shooting is raising the possibility that the death toll could have been even worse. the gunman, adam lanza, found with hundreds of rounds of high-powered ammunitions. s savannah? >> coming up, we'll take a closer look at lanza's relationship with his first victim, his own mother, nancy. and some are asking this morning why, if she knew her son had a history of mental issues, did she keep guns in her home? what kind of woman was she? we'll talk about that with four of her good friends, matt. >> churches across the country were packed sunday with people
connecting on a spiritual level with the people in connecticut. this morning, joel osteen, the pastor of the nation's largest church, will give us her perspective as we enter the fiebl final week before the christmas holiday. >> nbc's lester holt is here with more on the tragedy. good morning to you. >> good morning, savannah. tough weekend. the community needed the president to come here. he met with the first responders, the families. the speech he delivered was not one that many expected. he offered words of comfort, he also laid down a political gauntlet. for the fourth time since taking office, president obama stood before a community shattered by mass murder to offer words of comfort. >> i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief. >> the president called last friday the worst day of his presidency. and this time he came with more than words of consolation.
the president, sketching the outlines of what amounted to a policy statement on gun violence. >> can we honestly say we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? i've been reflecting this on this the last few days and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. in the coming weeks, i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have? >> he did not utter the words gun control, but his message could set the stage for such a debate. >> are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage? that the politics are too hard?
>> reporter: after paying tribute to the six teachers who died, he read one by one the names of the 20 children, whose lives were violently taken at sandy hook elementary school. >> charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine. >> reporter: throughout the weekend, people here have found ways to express their profound sadness, adding to a memorial near the school that grows by the hour. its compassions answer to violence. christmas trees now line the route to the memorial. one tree for each child who died. nearby, angels representing the victims stand side by side on wooden sticks. over the weekend, children went back to playing. devon and evan -- aiden were at
school that day. >> our hearts break for them. >> reporter: before his remarks on sunday, the president met with families of the victims, the daughter of murdered principal dawn hochsprung tweeted this photo of the president holding her daughter. saying my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her granddaughter, but not as proud as i am of her. >> for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. >> reporter: the schools remain closed here today. in lieu of classes, they've arranged a recreational field day, savannah. when the president was reading those names, one by one, there were loud sobs, very emotional moment. >> another tich touching moment when the first responders walked into the room. people stood and applauded. >> as they should.
>> chief justice correspondent pete williams is following the investigation and has new details this morning. good morning. >> good morning to you. adam lanza drove to that school, loaded with fire power. he had four guns in the car and carried three of them into the school along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition. here's how it happened, according to accounts from several officials. friday morning, adam lanza shoots his own mother at home, several times. he drives roughly five miles to sandy hook elementary with guns and ammunition in the car. state officials say it's a place he knows from childhood. why he goes there to kill remains a mystery. >> he had a relationship to the school, had attended there, at least that's what i'm led to believe. but beyond that now, we really don't know a whole lot. >> reporter: he walks up to the school carrying two handguns and a bushmaster ar-15 style rifle. he several high capacity magazines for it, each able to hold 30 rounds. he shoots at a school window and
shatters it to get in. at the sound of gunfire, principal dawn hochsprung and school psychologist mary sherlach come running. they are immediately killed. lanza turns toward the kindergarten and first grade classrooms. he heads to the classroom of substitute teacher lauren rousseau. she and the 14 children inside are shot and killed. from there, he enters victoria soto's classroom. she and six children are killed but seven others hidden in a closet are spared. andrea murphy is also killed. lanza shoots himself in the head as officers rush in. he started attending western state university, taking classes when he was 16. shooting ranges, looking to see if he had been to any of them.
>> at this time we know that the shooter visited a gun range but we don't have information that he actually shot at any of the gun ranges. >> nearly everyone who knew him described adam lanza as troubled, having a difficult time with a mild form of autism. no one can say what led him to sandy hook elementary that awful morning, matt. >> pete williams in washington, thank you very much. lieutenant paul vance is the spokesperson for the connecticut state police. thank you for your time again. >> yes, sir. >> at this stage, what exactly would gathering information entail? >> certainly the major crime investigators, state police are still actively working at the crime scene, gathering evidence, ensuring that they left no stone unturned, securing that facility because we're going to hold that facility until we've completed this investigation in its entirety. >> what about the second crime scene, the home of nancy lanza,
adam lanza a alanza's mother, a still gathering information there? has there been any progress made trying to get information out of the computer or computers that were found in that home? >> i can tell you, certainly, we are also holding that secondary crime scene. that has been thoroughly and completely processed. sufficed to say we have gathered a significant amount of evidence. investigators, state police detectives are going to take that evidence, analyze it piece by piece, take as long as it takes, using all the expertise necessary to examine each piece of evidence that has been seized. >> has anything come specifically from the hard drives on that computer or computers that were deliberately broken before investigators got there? >> we haven't -- we can't publicly discuss the evidence that we seized but we are using all the expertise of the forensic laboratory that is required to analyze all the evidence. we certainly hope to paint a
complete picture as to why and how this occurred. >> in one of our local papers here, lieutenant, a friend of na na nanza lanza says that in the days prior to this shooting, she had talked to him and said her son was getting worse and, quote, i think i'm losing him, end quote. is there any record of her reaching out in the last week or so to mental health officials or law enforcement officials over her concern for her son? >> i don't have any information relative to that, sir. we certainly are going to go back historically as far back as we need to go to certainly determine if, in fact, there was anything of that nature that may have been involved prior to this tragedy occurring. >> i want to ask you something that our pete williams first reported on saturday. he said there had been some kind of altercation at sandy hook elementary school the day before the shooting and that it was believed adam lanza might have been involved in that altercation with up to four teachers who are administers.
can you shed any light on that? >> that's been spoken about a great deal during the press conferences we've had. we've been able to look at that and report that there's been no report of any altercation involving the shooter, suspect if you will, at that facility. >> you have been very generous with your time during a very difficult period for you and i really appreciate it. >> thank you, sir. >> we'll have more in a moment, including an interview with four of nancy lanza's friends. first, let's get a check of the other headlines this morning. natalie is standing by at the news desk. topeka, kansas, fatally shooting two police officers outside a grocery store. they were responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle when they were gunned down. california man is behind bar this is morning after firing off about 50 shots in the parking lot of a newport beach mall this weekend. witnesses say the 42-year-old fired into the air and on to the
ground, causing panic as shoppers ran and ducked for cover. he is being held on $250,000 bond and it's unclear what caused him to open fire. some progress for deadlocked negotiations, looming fiscal cliff. capitol hill correspondent ankly o'donnell has the latest. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, natalie. real change here. sources close to the talk say speaker boehner and president obama are in the ballpark for the first time to deal with taxes, spending and the long-term deficit. speaker boehner offered to raise income tax rates on the higher earners, setting the income at $1 million. the president would like to see it at a quarter million for families. room still to negotiate that. that's considered real progress, a concession from the speaker. of course, he wants deeper spending cuts, changes to entitlements and long-term tax reform. there's still a lot to talk about. but sources are giving us the first encouraging signs we've
seen in this fiscal cliff showdown that could be averted if they can get this together. natalie? >> we can only hope. kelly o'donnell, thank you very much. first public appearance for the pregnant duchess of cambridge since she was hospitalized for acute morning sickness. personality of the year prizes. palace officials say she is in the first trimester of her pregnancy. it will, of course, be the first child foor her and her husband, prince william. mr. roker is here with a look at the weather. >> two big storms on both coasts. we start here in the northeast and the east coast. really, severe weather through the southeast today. winter storms going on right now in new england. we're talking about one to six inches of snow in parts of maine, one to three inches of rain down through the southeast. out west, we've got another big storm to talk about. this one is going to be causing blizzard warnings, winter storm weather advisories, winter
weather advisories from the pacific northwest all the way into colorado. snowfall amounts anywhere from one to two feet of snow in the cascades, about one to two inches of rain along the california coast. we'll have your local forecast but first this message.ge. good morning. i'm storm team 4 meteorologist tom kierein. we have had patchy dense fog. more sprinkles in northern maryland and northern west virginia headed into the metro area over the next several
hours. between now and then, clouds, patchy dense fog. in the 40s for much of region. 30s far a they are west and north. 50s, rain likely tonight. then tomorrow, partly cloudy, blustery wind in the 50s. turning colder after >> that's your latest weather. savannah? >> thank you. the loss suffered in the sandy hook elementary shooting is more than most can fathom. educators, selfless heroes, dawn hochsprung and school psychologist mary sherlach who ran toward the gunfire. the teachers, ann marie murphy, lauren rousseau, victoria soto and rachel davino, trying to protect their children. and, of course, the children. at the school where 20 boys and girls should have been returning to first grade today, instead 20 christmas trees stand, a
memorial for the 20 young lives lost, 6 and 7-year-olds, whose time in this world was short but already touched the lives of those who knew them. 6-year-old emily parker, who loved to draw. >> emily was bright, creative and very loving. i'm so blessed to be her dad. >> reporter: olivia engel was also 6, her favorite colors pink and purple. the monsignor says she was supposed to be a nativity angel at her christmas play. now, angels representing each child. the parents of jessica rekos issued a statement, describing her as their little ceo, a planner, asking santa for new cowboy boots and a hat. daniel barden, catherine
hubbard. jack pinto was a giants fan and fan of victor cruz, who honored jack during the game weari inin cleats that read my hero. neighbors said 7-year-old chase k kowalski was always riding his bicycle and recently completed his first mini triathlon. jesse lewis had his favorite hot chocolate and breakfast sandwich before heading to school friday. now teddy bear memorials, a town remembers the children. grace mcdonnel, james mattiolli. josephine gay just finish celebrated her 7th birthday days before the shooting.
noah pozner loved to read. his 6-year-old sister was in a different classroom. she survived the shooting. noah called her his best friend. benjamin wheeler, allison wyatt, madeleine hsu. >> one, two, three, ready, go. >> and that's ana marquez-greene as she hits every note singing "come almighty king" with her brother, isaiah, one of many voic voices silenced too soon. >> we're back in newtown, connecticut, in a moment. first this is "today" on nbc.
emotional weekend for people, not only there in connecticut but around the country. i think the emotion of it was driven home in that simple gesture by the president last night when he recited the names of the youngest victims just by first name and just listening to those names being called off, i thought, was very, very difficult. >> i think parents around the country have shed a lot of tear this is weekend and certainly have had tough times. >> anybody with a child. >> absolutely. >> you have more coming up in newtown. >> i will talk to friends of nancy lanza after a moment. [ male announcer ] everyone loves to dunk.
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on their nationwide 4g network. from america's gift headquarters. walmart. this is a news 4 newsbreak. >> good morning. it is 7:26 on monday, december 17. i'm aaron gilchrist. breaking news on the roads. >> if folks are northbound, gw parkway, the ramp to the inner loop shut down because of an accident in the area. you are seeing delays as you travel northbound. let's shoot over to delays on i-270. a foggy commute for you. southbound at shady grove the delays start in german town continuing to rockville. on 395 northbound, usual delays to the 14th street bridge. >> our headlines, today is the first day of classes since the tragedy in connecticut. local classrooms making sure
students will feel safe. they don't know of specific threats but want to make sure students and parents feel safe. a plan to help d.c. flood victims with a $1 million repair fund could come to a halt. the washington post says mayor gray and leaders at d.c. water want to stop a plan to reimburse victims in northwest washington. it could set a precedent making taxpayers responsible for future uninsured claims. your forecast is after this. stay with us.
in a couple of hours marc train tickets for inauguration day go online starting at 8:00 a.m. trains will run on a special schedule monday which is martin luther king, jr., day. let's check the forecast. >> dense fog around this morning and later today cloudy into the 50s. could get rain tonight. likely rain between 9:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. on tuesday.
moving tributes to those lost in newtown, connecticut. candles, teddy bears, flowers from friends and strangers and it's growing by the hour in a town in need of healing this morning. it is 7:30 now on this monday morning, december 17th, 2012. i'm savannah guthrie here in newtown, connecticut. matt is back in studio 1a. it's hard to fathom, matt, but we are going to start seeing funerals this morning. two of the young victims will be buried today. >> so many things we shouldn't be seeing, savannah. we talked about it over the weekend when we were up there. sandy hook is an idyllic, an idyllic little southern new england village. this time of year it should be filled with christmas decorations and things like that, not memorials and it shouldn't be filled with news trucks and satellite vehicles.
it just doesn't seem right. >> the whole community is just really hurting. and there's just no words that can express how sad they feel inside. coming up, we're going to talk about the first victim of this tragedy, adam lanza's own mother, nancy. she owned the guns that were used in the shooting. what else was going on inside that house? what was her relationship like with her son? we'll talk to some of nancy lanza's friends in just a moment. >> savannah, when one mother heard the tragic news of this shooting, she said she could relate because her own teenage son is coping with mental illness. it led her to write a blog about what her family has been facing and it's getting a lot of attention. we'll be hearing from that mother. and pastor joel osteen, one of the leading religious voices in america is here to put some of this into perspective, or at least try with the the christmas
holiday just a week away, savannah. >> we'll begin this half hour with what we are learning about adam lanza's first victim, his mother, nancy. we will talk with some of her friends in a moment. michael ff >> reporter: four weapons recovered at the scene of the sandy hook massacre didn't belong to gunman adam lanza. they were owned by his first victim, his own mother, nancy lanza. >> multiple gunshot wounds. >> nancy lanza was divorced in 2009 and got ownership of the couple's 3,100 square foot home in an affluent neighborhood, frequented a local bar where the two owners called her a stylish, personable and caring woman. >> very humble, kind, funny,
smart. >> reporter: also a gun enthusiast who enjoyed shooting, sometimes with her sons. among the guns she owned were a glock and significant -- sig sauer handguns and bushmaster rifle all used in the attack. >> started coming here a few years ago and would -- she was a single mom, raising two boys, living alone in a house close to the woods. i don't see anything odd. >> she would talk to me a little bit about it. i have so much fun. glad i took this up. >> reporter: a relative said she mainly wanted to protect herself. >> do you know why nancy would have had the guns? >> self defense. she lived alone. she was a female, lived alone. >> there's no indication she felt threatened by her son, adam, says one of the bar owners. >> reporter:. >> she loved him. there was never any evidence he was violent or -- >> she told people he was a
recluse who rarely left the house. >> it was hard to interact with him. very fidgety and you really can't make eye contact. >> reporter: up until the end, her friends say, nancy lanza was doing her best to be a good mother for a troubled son. >> she's a parent just like all of us. she was a strong, kind, caring and loving person. there was nothing odd or weird about her. she was completely normal and tried to help her kids just like all of us would. >> reporter: so far there's still no evidence that adam lanza threatened his mother or had any direct connection to the sandy hook school, leaving investigators struggling to answer the most puzzling question about this attack, why? >> that is the question, michael isikoff. thank you for your reporting this morning. we're joined by some of nancy lanza's friends. good morning to all of you. >> good morning. >> i know you're here because you want to talk about your
friend, nancy. i'll let you do that in a moment. russell, i'll start with you. you're the only person here who was actually met adam. what kind of young man was he? what were your impressions? >> well, he was clearly a troubled child. we know that he had aspbergers. nancy mentioned that to me several times. he was very calm, very withdrawn, much like most kids with asbepbergers are. >> you talked to nancy about her son many times. what did she say about him? did she fear him at all? >> no, she never feared him. no. she was a really devoted mom to both her boys. and she always made herself available to adam and his needs. he came first, clearly, with her.
>> did she talk about her struggles with him? >> yes. i mean, there were things, i guess, that were typical with people who have aspbergers. sometimes he would isolate himself, things like that. she was very conscious of how she would react to him. for an example, one time he was ill and she -- he just didn't want her in the room so she stayed outside all night of his bedroom on the carpet. he periodically would say, are you there? are you there? she would always say yes i'm here. so he wanted her there to some degree, but not in his exact own space. >> when was the last time any of you had seen her or talked to
her? >> three weeks ago. >> there was one report that she, in recent days, felt things were getting worse with him. were any of you aware of that? >> i never heard of anything like that. if there was, she certainly didn't let on to that effect. >> there have been a lot of reports about nancy lanza. one of the things we do know is that the guns that were used in this the shooting belonged to her. we have heard everything from she was some kind of survivalist to somebody that was very much ent enthralled with gun culture. what do you know about that? >> she was definitely not a survivalist. shooting was one of her hobbies. it wasn't her main hobby. she loved the arts, culture. she loved the finer things in life. she loved to go to red sox games. that's the nancy i knew.
>> was she the sort of person that would have kept those guns under lock and key? >> absolutely. >> absolutely. >> definitely. >> very resourceful. >> of the reports she had taken adam or her older son to shooting practice, what do you make of those? >> well, she told me that she had wanted to introduce guns to the boys, especially to adam. guns require a lot of respect and she really tried to instill that responsibility within him. and he took to it. he loved being careful with them. >> alan, this is a very close friend of yours and so much has been said. she is a victim, too. >> yes. >> what would you want people to know about the person that she was? >> nancy was a very caring
friend. she was extremely kind and very, very generous. not only with her time but with her finances. if she was ever feeling that i was in need of a friend, she definitely was on the phone with me. >> for this to have happened, complete shock to all of you? >> absolutely. >> yeah. >> we thank you for being here, giving us your perspective and sharing a little bit more about aa person i know was very important to all of you. thank you. >> thank you. >> we'll take a turn and go back to new york now and get a check of the weather from al. savannah, thank you very much. we've got to talk about out to the west as the jet stream takes a bit of a dip. in the east and southeast, temperatures from 10 to 20 degrees above normal as you look at what we are expecting for the
day today. we've got highs in the 70s and 80s from texas, gulf coast to the southeast. 50s and 60s in the midatlantic. 40s in the pacific northwest. teens and 20s in the plains. we have a mess in the pacific northwest today. risk of strong storms in the southeast. wet up and down the seaboard. fog in washington, d.c. and snow in new england. that's what's going on around the country. here's what's happening in your neck of the woods. >> we have fog in the region now. in fact visibilities are down to a quarter mile or less mainly in the rural areas. breaks in the clouds to the west with temperatures in the 30s. closer to washington in the mid and upper 40s. holding steady in the mid and upper 40s for a couple of hours. the fog will be gone this morning. then fog ending after midnight. sun back tomorrow. a gusty northwest winds. rain thursday into friday. and that's your latest weather.
savannah? >> al, thank you. coming up next, the teachers who were inside sandy hook when the shooting began. they share their harrowing stories with matt after this. [ laughter ] ♪ [ male announcer ] for tim and richard smucker, giving a gift of their family's delicious jam always made the holidays just a little bit sweeter. we forgot to put our names on them! richard, i think they'll know who it's from. ♪ thank you boys. you're welcome. you're welcome. [ male announcer ] happy holidays from our family to yours. i love christmas!
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>> i heard what sounded like a popping sound, then some noises coming over the loud speaker, sounded like weeping. >> i was in the very front of the building in a meeting and we heard the first gunshots and we knew exactly, they were gunshots. >> i then, at that point, said we've got to do this lockdown. >> they were hearing screaming out in the hall and they were hearing more popping sounds, gunshot sounds and they began to get upset. >> what you do as a kindergarten teacher is divert the attention away from what's happening. they said what is that? i said maybe someone is up on the roof getting a soccer ball. >> and immediately the leaders in our building did what they needed to do and they ran out of the door, knowing that that gunfire was showering the hallways and the classrooms. >> and i just kept reassuring them that they would be okay, that they were loved, that their mommies and dadddaddys would be
there soon and we had them, we would hold them tight. and they did continue to cry, but they were able to hold together. they were -- they were amazing. they were quiet when i needed them to be and they held each other. and they were perfect. they were perfect. >> do you have any sense of how long it lasted? >> i lost all sense of time when i was there. i do know it lasted probably at least ten minutes. the gunshots finally stopped. we still were all in panic. that's when the state police arrived. >> they looked like they were either from the fbi or troopers. they said you need to come out of the building. so have the children follow you. have them hold hands. have them cover their eyes. i did pass some blood on the floor. we followed one another. we went out of the building and we walked to the firehouse.
>> what was that scene like? >> the parents were very upset, wanted to grab their kids as quickly as possible. >> when they reunited with their children at the firehouse, you just could see the relief poring over them. >> these are my students last year. parents are looking at me, where is so-and-so's teacher? where are they? i don't have an answer. i don't know where they are. >> kids that weren't picked up yet by parents went in one room and the parents who were without kids yet went into another room. and that was a very difficult scene. >> you're talking about a time period here that was pure chaos. >> oh, yeah. >> and yet now you've had a chance to understand the scope of what happened. how do you get your arms around it, connie? >> i'm not sure yet. it seems as though the expression, i'll take this one day at a time has become i'll take this one minute at a time. the waves of it just come over
you when you realized what happened. >> how do you go back to school? how do you welcome these students back? how do you get them to trust again? >> we continue to stay as a unit. we are a very strong staff. we are a very strong community at sandy hook school. >> we will -- we will pull together. we will hold each other tightly. and we will -- we will get -- we will get them together again. >> we are back with more on "today" on a monday morning. but first these messages. oh , yo u have a keurig vue brewer? oh, it's great! now i can brew my coffee just the way i love it. how do you do that? well, inside the brewer, there's this train that's powerful enough to carry more coffee and fresh water to make coffee that's stronger and bigger... and even hotter!
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this is a news 4 newsbreak. >> it's 7:56 on december 17, 2012. the redskins are in first place in the nfc east. they beat cleveland for their fifth straight win. cousins led them in his first nfl start. if the redskins win the next two games they win the division. fog and rain around. weather and traffic are next. stay with us.
good morning. i'm tom kierein. we have dense fog around the region in the 40s in the metro area. later in the 50s and cloudy. rain likely after sunset into the evening hours after midnight. breezy tomorrow and the sun back. highs in the 50s. danella, how's traffic? >> g.w. northbound to the inner loop of the beltway, now open. the loop is jammed to the american legion bridge. 295 southbound is slow. vw parkway from 197. >> another news 8:00 now on
morning, the 17th day of december, 2012, iconic symbol of the season in rockefeller center, that christmas tree just across the plaza from us. i'm matt lauer, along with al roker and natalie morales in studio 1a. savannah is up in newtown, connecticut, this morning. good morning again. >> good morning to all of you. obviously, this is a town that is in mourning. there's a lot of talk, of course, this past weekend about guns and violence. we're also hearing from parents of children who have mental illness. one mother wrote a powerful blog this weekend that detailed her own struggles with her 13-year-old son. in her words, quote, i am adam lanza's mother.
that article really touched a nerve. we'll hear from her and talk about some of the issues associated with it coming up. >> really powerful blog, savannah. this is a time whea lot of people are talking about healing. how do we move forward from here? one of the most influential pastors in america will be joining us, joel osteen and his family. they'll be talking about how we move forward in the wake of such tragedy and the spirit of the season with christmas now just a week away. >> it is the holidays. folks doing last-minute shopping, hitting the airports in a few days. what will you be facing? we'll give you a little preview coming up. >> savannah? >> thank you so much. lester holt is with us here in newtown and has more on last night's vigil which, of course, was attended by the president. good morning again. >> good morning, savannah. the president comes with the weight of the white house behind him but also as a father. he was at his own daughter's dance rehearsal in the washington, d.c. area before he came here.
he met with the families, first responders and basically came here to bolster the spirits of a still staggering community. >> there were the scenes of the school children helping one another, holding each other, dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do. one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, i know karate. so, it's okay. i'll lead the way out. as a community, you've us, newtown. in the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you've
looked out for each other, you've cared for one another, and you've loved one another. this is how newtown will be remembered. and with time and god's grace, that love will see you through. >> reporter: but then the president turned a corner, rhetorically asked if we were doing enough to protect children, talking about gun violence, including we haven't. and then vowed to use the power of the presidency, the power of his office to look at this issue, to take some action. he didn't talk specifics, savannah. but you got the sense that he was laying down a political gauntlet saying perhaps it's time now to look at this issue of gun violence from all perspectives, political risks laid to the side. >> we'll see what happens in january when lawmakers get started with the new term. lester, thank you so much. natalie morales is in new york with the latest news stories. good morning to you. >> good morning, savannah.
new signs of progress today in the talks of the fiscal cliff dealing with looming tax hikes and spending cuts. john boehner and president obama are now in the same ballpark, some say, on their negotiations. speaker boehner will support an extension of the borrowing cap. in return he wants $1 trillion in spending cuts from government benefit programs such as medicare. a majority of egyptians approved a new constitution in the first round of voting this weekend. however, the 57% yes vote showed less support than mohamed morsi had hoped for. a second round of voting in rural areas is scheduled for saturday. u.s. postal service says today will be the busiest mailing day of the year as customers send out last-minute holiday cards and gifts along with the usual mail that adds up to 156 million pieces this day alone.
wednesday and thursday will be the biggest delivery days. piano used in one of the most memorable scenes now has a new owner. small green and yellow upright from the 1942 classic, casablanca. as the character sam sang that favorite "as time goes by." >> that would be a cool thing to own. natalie, thank you very much. mr. roker with a check of the weath weather. n a day like today, we'll show you that we are looking at the week ahead. early part of the week, above nar mall temperatures for two-thirds of the eastern u.s. out west, colder than usual. rain along the coast. by the mid-week period the rain and snow extends east. it stays warm in the midatlantic states, northeast gulf coast into the great lakes with snow in new england.
latter part of the week we expect a wet, snowy return into the midatlantic states, new england into the ohio river valley. below normal into the pacific northwest. >> good morning. i'm storm team 4 meteorologist tom kierein. we have patchy, dense fog around much of maryland and virginia and parts of west virginia this morning. the fog will be dissipating in the next couple of hours. cloudy the rest of the day. highs in the mid 50s. 40s in much of the area. rain late after sunset into the evening hours. we could get showers after midnight. sun back tomorrow. into wednesday and thursday, we'll have 50s in the afternoon. we'll have rain maybe again thursday >> that's your latest weather. matt? >> al, thanks very much. >> a mother with an unusual perspective on the events in newtown, connecticut. she's raising a child with mental illness. her emotional and eye-opening plea right after this. thank you. for what?
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the tragedy here in newtown has touched the hearts of everyone in america, including a woman who describes herself as i am adam lanza's mother. we are not identifying her or her son, we did want to share her message in her own words. >> i'm calling my son, michael. that's not his real name. he's 13 years old. i love my son, but he terrifies me. we have had a variety of diagnoses. the latest is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, adhd. he also has been diagnosed with something called intermittent explosive disorder, oppositional defiant disorder. i first learned about the connecticut shooting at work on my facebook feed.
i closed the door to my office and started to shiver. every time i hear about a mass shooting, i think about my son. and i wonder if some day i'll be that mom. in the wake of another horrific national tragedy it's easy to talk about guns, but it's time to talk about mental illness. >> we spoke to the woman's ex-husband. he confirmed that his son does, in fact, suffer from a mental illness, but he stressed to us that not everybody with his son's condition ends up as a violent criminal. for some perspective on all of this, gail saltz is a psychiatrist and "today" contributor and author of "far from the tree," how parents love children who are different from they are. they talked to the parents of dylan klebold, one of the columbine shooters, andrew
solomon. >> good morning. >> it helps them identify with the issues that a child or relative may have with mental illness. is the system doing enough for these people? is it failing these people? >> i think that mental health care in america is not prioritized enough. it's really at the bottom of the barrel of health care systems. many people don't have enough access in their area to a mental health professional. there's too much stigma and shame surrounding mental health issues. people don't bring their child in. insurance often doesn't cover a mental health issue. and so people are really left, often, to flounder and not know that earlier on is better to bring your child, more preventive measures are needed. we really, as a country, need to focus on this. because many children do have mental health issues that they can be treated for and do well afterwards with. >> taking it beyond parents and children for a moment, if you've got a relative or somebody you
know, brother or sister who you know has mental illness problems, the system is really not set up to help you either. for example, the standard to get somebody involuntarily committed is so high. many families are sitting there, waiting for something awful to happen. >> there is a dilemma. of course, we want people to have their civil liberties. so we don't commit people unless they're an imminent threat to themselves or others. we could have earlier intervention for people that they could be managed as outpatients and create systems to help manage people, if most of the people aren't in treatment at all. >> let me bring you in on this, andrew. you have an interesting perspective. you wrote a book that, among other things, examine children who commit crimes and you spoke to the mother of dylan klebold, one of the columbine shooters. you look at this information and think about the family of adam lanza. >> first thing is i think we always expect that the family
will provide an explanation of why. but these illnesses strike people as randomly as cancer or any other illness. the illness having criminal behavior in this kind of mental illness. the family can't be held responsible for it, at least not from the evidence so far. but in addition, i think one has to recognize that those people have lost not only the child but also their understanding of the chi child, sense of who he is in the world and that's a devastating loss for them. this was an act of rage and violence but it's also an act of extreme depression. murder/suicides always focus on the murder piece, the more upsetting piece. if you don't look at the suicide you'll never figure out what it is that drives people. >> but you know when people look at situations like this, they think surely parents should have known or would have known.
>> the woman that was just on is talking about a child who has a frightening illness and feel sincere out of control. sometimes the parents know and can't do anything and sometimes the children are very secretive. >> and sometimes the parents can't let themselves know because it's so embarrassing or distressing that they don't. >> very quickly, gail, if you're in this situation, worried about your child, what is your piece of advice? >> go see a mental health professional. if you want to see your pediatrician first, who can make a referral. if you feel you don't have the money, hospitals have outpatient facilities with a sliding scale fee. if you're an emergent situation, literally pull up to your emergency room. there will be a psychiatrist there who can make an evaluation. >> gail saltz and andrew solomon, thank you for your perspective this morning. >> thank you so much. finding hope in the wake of this unspeakable tragedy. we'll talk about that, matters of faith with pastor joel osteen
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it's the biggest sales event of the year. i'm jan. how can i help you? hi, jan. i heard toyotathon was a pretty big deal. is 34 years of saving people money on dependable vehicles a big deal? whoa. 34 years? we also have the biggest selection of the year. oh, cool. can i help you with anything? oh, i'm just asking a few of my friends what color car i should get. red... how many friends? 4,076. wow. can't stop friending. oh, i'll be your friend. 4,077. [ male announcer ] toyotathon is on! the one event you don't want to miss. we are back here in newtown, connecticut, with more on the deadly shooting here. one of the youngest victims was 6-year-old olivia engel. her cousin, john engel is with us now. good morning. >> good morning. >> first of all let's start off by saying we are so sorry for
your loss. >> the outpouring of support has been tremendous. and, um -- and the family hasn't been watching the news at all. they are really not interested in the details of the events. but they saw briefly a piece yesterday on olivia and they cried the whole time. and then -- and then they said that was really beautiful and were really glad that that story is being told. so that's why i'm here. >> we're so glad to have you here and to share olivia's story. we see her picture and her smile and i think everybody falls in love with her. i would love to give you a chance to tell the world more about this little girl that was so loved. >> she was an outgoing -- a
beautiful, outgoing child. tennis lessons and ballet and hip hop dance and musical theater. she had a huge sense of humor. this was not a shy child. this was a child who would light up a room with her smile and her sense of humor. and outgoing. really great big sister to her younger brother, br aaden. >> who is 3 years old? >> he's 3. and he's asking, where's via, all day yesterday. you know, they were really connected. >> and what would you want people to know about olivia, about the family, how they're doing right now? >> i think the most important thing i could say is that this is a family of faith. olivia led grace every night at mass. their faith is getting them
through this. they -- she was learning the rosary. she was the angel in the christmas pageant. i think that the church has been so supportive, and the friends have been so supportive and without faith, i don't know that they could get through this. and it's been hugely helpful for them. and i also want to add that this is a family of teachers. the mother, shannon, is a teach er of little kids in a nearby school. grandfather, rich, is a teacher at the middle school. great grandfather was a principal in stamford. this is three generations of teachers working with children. and i think that's why they just can't be here and they can't talk about it, because they're just so -- they're so devastated and they're so connected with
the other 26 children. and i also want to remember them. >> of course. john, i know they appreciate you coming here and telling aboutth missing so much this morning. i just want to thank you and please pass on our deepest sorrow to them. >> thank you. >> matt, we'll send it back to you. >> savannah, thanks. what do you say to a nation searching for answers? pastor joel osteen has been called the voice of hope, lakewood church, considered the largest in america. his wife, victoria, serves as co-pastor. they're here with their children, jonathan and alexandra, who play active roles in the church as well. good morning. nice to see you. >> good morning. >> he just said they're people of faith. how important is faith at a time like this? >> it's incredibly important. you can become overwhelmed with what's happened and there will be these waves of grief. when you can turn to your faith, i believe god will give you waves of grace to get through it. >> in our business we search for answers to questions. that's what we do.
we want to know how, when, where and why and in this case why refers to what we're asking, how this young man could have done this. when you're asked why, often it's why does a good and kind god allow something like this to happen? and how do you answer that question? >> well, the way i answer it, matt, is that god gives us all our own free will, a freedom of choice. he didn't make us as robots and, unfortunately, some people choose to do evil. and, you know, we don't always understand it, but i still believe that god is good and god is for us, but he doesn't make us do what's right. >> victoria, this occurs just a week before christmas. there are a lot of people who say there's no way we celebrate this holiday this year, especially the people in newtown. isn't it an opportunity to celebrate the real meaning of christmas as opposed to the more commercial and gift giving meaning of christmas? >> matt, in any tragedy, you know, you've got to somehow try
to find something that you can gain or you can learn. you don't want to waste this. you don't want to waste this tragedy. this is a time that we can reflect as a family, that we can learn to really say i love you, appreciate each other. it's not going to bring anyone back. but it is a time that we can just be more mindful of what the season brings, and faith. faith in what you believe. >> jonathan and alexandra, this young man who committed this crime is not that much older than either of you. how do you get your arms around this? >> well, i mean, i don't know that i get it my arms around it differently than anyone else. i wonder what i should do. and, really, the only thing i can do is pray. i pray for those families all the time and believe for the best. >> your church is in houston, texas. that part of the country, as many parts of the country, is guns. people grow up with them, use them responsibly and safely. there will be a lot of focus on
guns in the coming days and weeks. as a pastor with the type of parish you have, do you feel it's tiyour job to take a standn that? >> i really don't. politics divide us. good people on both sides of the aisle. i don't know what the best answer is there either but i try to guide them, giving them hope in this time of need. >> in terms of talking to our children about this, what's the best thing we can say, the most important thing we can say in the wake of this? >> you know, i really feel like, one, we can pray. it gives our children a sense of compassion. we see this on tv. they need to know, these are real people just like we are. i feel like in our own children that we need to instill a sense of security, you know. because it's a very insecure world. we still need to, as parents, just let our children feel like they are secure. >> the osteen family, thanks for being here. we appreciate it. we wish you the best for the holidays and know you've got a
lot of work to do to try to make his for people. >> thank you, matt. we'll do our best. >> thank you very much. we're back after your local news. >> this is a news 4 newsbreak. >> it is 8:26 on monday, december 17. checking the headlines, many local schools have tighter security to put students and parents at ease since the tragedy at sandy hook elementary. marc train tickets for inauguration day are available for $20 each round trip and the redskins are in first place after beating the browns yesterday. now a check of the commute. >> good morning. aaron, watching an accident. prince joernls county along new hampshire avenue at merrimac drive. let's talk about delays. vw parkway. the green belt is slow. once you get to 50, heavy on the brakes. speaking of 50, delays in this area from 202 landover road
. 8:30 now on a monday morning, 17th day of december, 2012. and pastor joel osteen and his family have stuck around, now helping us collect toys as part of our 19th annual holiday toy drive, which we understand is in the final days now, but also on track to break a record this year. thank you so much for all your generosity and support. we appreciate it and the children being helped certainly will appreciate it. out on the plaza, i'm matt
lauer, along with natalie morales and al roker. savannah guthrie is still up in newtown, connecticut. good morning again to you. >> good morning to all of you. guys, coming up from here, an issue that has got to be on the minds of every parent this morning. school safety. as kids return to class across the country, administrators are trying to reassure students and staff. what can really be done to make sure tragedies like the one here in newtown do not happen again? we'll have more on that story, just ahead. >> all right, savannah. also coming up, the recent tragic events there in connecticut have inspired you, making you want to be closer to your family now for the holidays, maybe thinking about planning a trip to see them, coming up, we'll tell you about last-minute deals perhaps to get to where you need to go. >> there is still a way to book a trip at this late time and get a pretty good price on it. >> there is. that's right. before we go any further, mr. roker has a check of the weath weather.
>> thanks, guys. a bunch of ladies here who have a real tradition. >> this is a group here from connecticut. >> took my mike. no, that's okay. you hold on to it. >> we're here to celebrate camaraderie, friendship and what's real important, more important now than it's ever been. okay. and these are 20 fantastic women. >> thank you very much. merry merry christmas, ladies. let's check your weather. see what we have for you. for today we are looking at wet weather. a mess on the eastern seaboard. a mix of strong storms from tennessee to georgia. heavy snow out to the pacific northwest into the rockies. wet weather along the west coast. tomorrow, rainy, icy and snowy in the northeast into new england. wet weather along the california coast into the pacific northwest. that's what's going on around the country. here's what's happening in your neck of the woods. >> good morning. patchy dense fog around much of
the region this morning. that fog will be lifting over the next couple of hours. remaining cloudy the rest of the day with highs in the 50s. now we are in the 40s. overnight tonight after sun set through the evening hours, showers likely ending after midnight. the sun back with a blustery wind tomorrow. highs in the 50s. 50s on wednesday and thursday. more rain perhaps on thursday night. likely on friday. much colder for the weekend. don't forget, check that weather any time you need it. go to weather channel on cable or weather.com. you guys have been here before. >> every year. >> this guy wasn't on the outside last year. >> correct, he was on the inside last year. >> okay. let's head on down to washington, d.c. and say hello to big willie scott. >> happy birthday. robert theroux, owns his own restaurant and all the food is free to the troops.
the man is a patriot. america ramirez of corona, california, 102 years old. loves to play the slots on her ipad. never loses. frederick jaissle of york, maine, great fan of the patriots and red sox, 100 years old. happy birthday to a true sports f fan. here is frances shutt from mesilla, new mexico, 100 years old today. great educator, big author and world war ii veteran. all of those together. glenn and pauline miller, howard, kansas, love each other very much and love to spend time with their grandchildren. helen wheat, frederick, maryland, right up the road. love that town. 110. glass of wine every night with her din-din.
that's it. that's all from washington at this time. >> all right, willard, thank you very much. when we come back, we'll take a look at the important issue of security in our nation's schools and then we'll change the pace a little bit and we'll look at how you can find some last-minute travel deals for the holiday and how to navigate those crowded holiday airports. first this is "today" on nbc.
as the school district here in newtown gets ready to resume classes this week, many questions are being asked about security both here and around the country. erica hill is here with more on that part of the story. good morning to you. >> savannah, good morning to u you. around the country schools will see stepped up security this morning. safety measures at sandy hook elementary were modeled from other schools. her 5-year-old daughter, ava,
who survived friday, praised the security measures at the school. >> i've been at ava's school this school year. i never felt unsafe. >> does it feel like the appropriate amount of security for you? did you always feel that way even before friday, that that was appropriate to have at the school? >> yes. >> there is no standard for school security in this country. but there is plenty of talk. >> there's not a school in the country that won't be reviewing their safety procedures this week. >> in los angeles, a promise this weekend from the city's police chief. >> every k through 5 and every middle school in los angeles gets visited at least once a day by a los angeles police officer. >> as police in tampa try to reassure worried parents and students. >> we are 100% committed to ensuring the safety of our students. >> spent decades as an
administrator and superintendent in connecticut public schools. >> what do you see as the perfect combination, the safest combination of both procedures and systems? >> there has to be a balance. we're not running a bank. we're not running a prison. you have to restrict access to the building. lock all the doors. you make sure nobody gets in. >> at sandy hook elementary, all of those procedures were in place, along with regular lockdown drills. she believes that training helped save her daughter's life. >> they were fantastic. ava communicated to me what they did and the teachers did also, but their nrp number one concern was the children's safety. >> the first and best line of defense is always a well-trained, highly alert staff and student body. >> reporter: in connecticut, lockdown drills are held an average of five or six times a year. >> in high schools they'll do it
during passing periods because you want to make sure people know what to do at that point. >> how much do they know? >> even the staff doesn't know whether it's real or not. you want them to take it seriously. >> were there children involved at all in any of the drills? >> absolutely. >> so, ava knew what to do when this happened? >> you had you. >> but even with everything in place, tragedy found sandy hook elementary on friday. >> i think the school did everything they should be doing in terms of level of security. no matter what we put in the way of someone who is that deliberate and determined, they will find a way to get inside. >> when it comes to these kids, what do you think will make them feel the most safe? >> the love and the nurturing and caring of their individual teachers. >> and for parents? >> the most important assurance they're going to get is when their children come home after that first day and they're happy kids again. >> i'm going to send her to
school because i can't move forward, then she won't be able to. i don't want her to live in fear. i might be in the parking lot the whole time she's there? it could be. >> we should point out that today is the safest day for your child to be at school, there is such a stepped up presence across the country. many administrators had meetings this morning and those discussions will continue as they figure out what is the best and what is the safest. >> safety is one thing. still so many parents feel fear as they send their kids off to school. you spoke to therese. she is looking in a few days to sending her kindergartner back to this school. >> she doesn't know how that's going to happen. she doesn't want to freak her out but ava still doesn't know what happened. she's not sure how to tell her. she wants her to go back to school for the normalcy but has a hard time in her head knowing she's going to have to leave her
daughter at some point. >> so hard for children, so hard for parents not knowing how much to tell their children and wanting to convey this impression of calmness when inside they're hurting so much, t too. erica, thank you for jour story. we appreciate it. we'll be back with more from newtown, connecticut, and new york. but first this is "today" on nbc. did you get chips for the party? nope.
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we're back now at 8:44. we spent a lot of time talking about the tragic events in newtown, connecticut. we realize that christmas eve is a week away and families are making travel plans. kate, good morning. nice to see you. >> nice to see you. >> is it too late to get a reservation? >> it's not too late. the trick is to fly on the
holiday, on christmas day or on new year's eve. we found them to be about $100 cheaper if you fly on the 31st than if you fly on the 30th. >> if you can get a deal can you go to the popular destinations or do you have to go to the places that nobody else wants to go? >> obviously the popular destinations tend to be more expen expensive. >> you also suggest that people choose certain flights over others. you like the red eye. >> it tends to be cheaper and also the first flight of the day also tends to be cheap. traditionally less delayed because delays back up throughout the day. >> you talk about delays, by the way. this time of year airports are jammed. people are used to that. this time of year you also remind people, what is it the 311 rule? >> yes. >> explain to people who aren't familiar with that. >> 3.4 ounce liquids, one ziploc bag per person. >> if you do not adhere to those rules you will end up slowing up the line we're looking at right now. what about checking bags? are you in favor of this during the holidays or if at all possible do you send them ahead? >> december is a terrible time
of the year to check a bag. airlines are up to 35% more likely to damage, delay or lose your bag in december than other times of the year. if you can take carry-ons, please do. >> gifts for the holiday season, you can ship those ahead of time as well? >> you still have a little bit of time to do that. you are allowed to take wrapped gifts. if the tsa thinks they look suspicious, they might unwrap them. >> you mentioned the 311 rules. do they ease up at all on things like medication and formula, things like that? >> they do ease up. you don't have to take 3.4 ounces. you can take a little bit more. you may have to show them to tsa. you don't have to take them in a ziploc bag either. >> you go to the airport. what's the basic information you need to have with you? >> your flight number, confirmation number, frequent flyer number and the customer service number of your airline in case you need these details if your flight delays. >> i've been on flights that have been canceled or delayed
and you watch people going to their cell phones, trying to come up with the numbers for the airlines and other people who have them and those people are already rebooking themselves and the other people are still looking for the airline phone number. >> exactly. get on the line and at the same time you're in the line to rebook, call your airline at the same time. you might find that you get through to them before you get to the front of the line. >> expert travelers. we can learn a lot from them. when they are delayed or get bumped from a flight they look to something called rule 240. what is rule 240? >> rule 240, unfortunately, is more or less obsolete now. airlines do have variations of t it used to be obliged to put you on the next flight even if it was a competitor's flight. >> they don't do that anymore? >> not generally, no. check your airline's website. airlines have very different rules for cancellations. jetblue will book you on the next flight or give you a full refund if they cancel your flight. if you're on delta and it's delayed four or more hours they'll pay for food. overnight they'll pay for your
this morning on "today's" holiday gift guide, four do it yourself beauty products that make ideal last-minute presents. megan murphy is self's editor. good morning. >> good morning. how are you? >> i'm great. i love putting this together. >> homemade gift is more thoughtful than a holiday gift card. >> i agree. >> palm lip gloss. >> the magic ingredient, mcgyver of beauty products, crystal light. >> who knew? >> stir, stir, stir, stir, stir. we tried this in the office. it's kind of amazing because it's like a gentle exfoliator and the color lasts so long. >> lasts longer than most stains, in fact? >> just scoop it into your little jars. we got these at a craft store.
>> pretty gooey here. >> it's a gooey mess. take your time at home. cute stocking stuffer. >> next, this is great, peppermint foot scrub. al makes his own scrubs as well. it's an exfoliator too? >> you're going to puree the strawberries. mix in your sugar, which is a good exfoliant, oil, more oil and then i'm going to take my spoon and mix, mix, mix. it's all about the stirring. >> peppermint oil? >> just enough so it's not super overpowering. but like caffeine for your feet. it's going to put some pep into your step. you can use a funnel if you want to be neat. >> right. >> voila, finished product. >> because it has strawberries it is perishable. >> correct. >> how long will it last? >> print out the recipe on a
gift card and put the expiration on it. make at the night before. refrigerate it. >> smells delicious. these candy cane bath salts. how do you get started ? >> epsom and sea salt. soothing, soak. gym rat, on your feet a lot. gets all the muscle soreness away and sea salt is an exfoliant. >> that's the white part, right? >> exactly. >> take the rest of the salt and here is where you do your food coloring. >> how many drops are we talking? >> it's just experimental. do this and start mixing, mixing, mixing. >> that's the red food coloring. >> it's a process. >> it's a process. it's fun thing to do with the kids, too. i love it as a teacher gift. do it with your kids. put ten. that's all done.
>> peppermint oil? >> just to smell. you just want it to be -- not overpowering, but aromatic. it's basically like sand art. you're going to scoop in -- >> the white part? >> pretend that's all pretty. and then the key is doing the layers so it looks like a candy cane. presentation is everything. you can get these jars at the craft store. we got this at pottery barn. pretty, pretty great gift. >> last but not leave vanilla clove body oil spray. you say this is a man magnet. why is that? >> vanilla is proven to create feelings of intimacy. >> little spray of vanilla will do it? >> just a little spritz. it's so easy. almond oil, and these just make it neat er. you can use a little funnel. >> almond oil is great for the skin. >> little spritzers, craft st e store. in bulk they cost nothing. >> almond oil. >> all these amounts are on self.com. >> which is on our website
today.com as well. >> vanilla extract. >> right. >> drop that in. >> just a touch of clove. >> it can be overpowering. get it in there. >> fantastic. you spray and voila, great gift. >> exactly. >> megan murphy, that does smell good. thank you very much. >> shake, shake, shake. >> we'll be back with more. but first one more song from the new york city children's chorus. ♪ ♪ ♪
♪ ♪ this is a new 4s newsbreak. >> t good morning. the week is off to a rough start for commuters. let's check in with the traffic. danella, good morning. >> i'm tracking a few things starting in damascus. if you are traveling ridge road at oak drive, a head-on collision blocking 27 ridge road in both directions. all lanes are blocked. downed wires in potomac,
good morning. patchy dense fog around the metro area and rural areas as well with temperatures in the mid 40s, near 506789 later today in the mid and upper 50s with cloudiness. after sunset rain this evening. tomorrow, sun returns. breezy and we'll have a partly sunny day on tuesday afternoon. sun back wednes
and we're back now with more of "today" on a monday morning, the 17th of december, 2012. you're looking at what is a quickly growing memorial up in newtown, connecticut, for the people who were lost in this tragic school shooting that took place on friday morning. newtown is a town that is just beginning to attempt to say good-bye to those they lost. the first funerals of the young victims will be today. savannah is in newtown, covering this tragedy. good morning again. >> good morning to all of you. as you know, this town was visited by president obama last night, who offered a moving address here, made more powerful by the silence in the high school auditorium, interrupted
only by sobs, just heartbreaking as the president read the names of the 20 littlest victims. in a moment, matt, we'll talk with reverend matt krevin, who gave the opening remarks at the high school behind me. and how he's helping them get through. >> two 6-year-old boys 1:00 this afternoon will be laid to rest. >> one funeral home in that town, 11 of the victims at that one funeral home. that's unbearable. we'll get back to savannah in a moment. as heartwrenching as it was to learn the news that developed friday, parents across the country overcome with worry themselves, struggling to come to grips with how this could have happened. and how should you talk about this with your kids? we'll get into some of that just ahead. >> going on in homes all across the country. one of the things that can help to heal, as it always does, is music, and the sweet voices of
young people especially. another song from the new york city's children's chorus. you may have seen them perform saturday night on "saturday night live" as a tribute. they're going to perform one more song for us. >> unusual and powerful start to that show. >> it really was. >> on saturday. let's begin this half hour with lester holt, covering the tragedy and all the developments. lester, good morning again. >> reporter: matt, good morning. the president had been at one of his own children's events, a dance event, before making his way here to meet with families of the lost, as well as the first responders. he then delivered a speech in a way that many people might not have expected. for a while there were words of comfort, he also laid down something of a political gauntlet. for the fourth time since take ing office, president obama stood before a community shattered by mass murder, to offer words of comfort. >> i can only hope it helps for you to know that you're not alone in your grief.
>> reporter: the president called last friday the worst day of his presidency. this time he came with more than words of consolatioconsolation, the outlines of what amounted to a policy statement on gun violence. >> can we honestly say we're doing enough to keep our children, all of them, safe from harm? i've been reflecting on this the last few days and if we're honest with ourselves, the answer is no. in the coming weeks i'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. because what choice do we have? >> he did not utter the words gun control but his message could set the stage for such a debate. >> are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage?
that the politics are too hard? >> reporter: after paying tribute to the six teachers who died, he read one by one the names of the 20 children, whose lives were violently taken at sandy hook elementary school. >> charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine. >> reporter: throughout the weekend, people here have found ways to express their profound sadness, adding to a memorial near the school that grows by the hour. it's compassion's answer to violence. chr christmas trees now line the route to the memorial, one tree for each child who died. nearby, angels, representing the victims, stand side by side on wooden sticks. over the weekend, children went back to playing. devon and aidan erpsman were at
school that day. >> to have to deal with it at such a young age, our hearts break for them. >> reporter: before his remars s on sunday, the president met with families of the victims, the daughter of murdered principal dawn hochsprung tweeted a picture of the president holding her daughter. she said my mom would be so proud to see president obama holding her granddaughter but not as proud as i am of her. >> for those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on and make our country worthy of their memory. >> reporter: schools here in newtown closed today. they will reopen tomorrow except sandy hook elementary school. those students will eventually go to another school, one town over. matt, this morning you have to figure that teachers all across america are struggling with what they will say to their kids when they enter the classroom this morning. >> in every single community, lester, you're right about that. thank you very much for your report. let's get a check of the rest of
the morning's headlines. natalie is standing by at the news desk. good morning to you. >> good morning, matt, al and willie. good morning, everyone. fatally shooting two police officers outside a grocery store, officers were responding to the report of a suspicious vehicle when they were gunned down. a california man is behind b bars this morning after firing off about 50 shots in the parking lot of a newport beach mall this weekend. witnesses say the 42-year-old fired into the air and on to the ground, causing panic as shoppers ran and ducked for cover. he is being held on $250,000 bond and it's unclear what caused him to open fire. some progress for deadlocked negotiations over the looming fiscal cliff. republicans are showing some willingness to budge on the president's demand for tax increases on the wealthiest americans but in return gop leaders want $1 trillion worth of spending cuts from government programs like medicare. democrats previously have refused to raise the medicare
eligibility age under any circumstances. a new constitution in the first round of voting this weekend in egypt. however the 57% yes vote showed less support than islamist president mohamed morsi had hoped for. a second round of voting in rural areas is scheduled for saturday. u.s. postal service says today will be the busiest mailing day of the year as customers send out last-minute holiday cards and gifts along with the usual mail, that adds up to about 658 million pieces being sent on this one day alone. wednesday and thursday will be the busiest delivery days. a first public appearance for the pregnant duchess of cambridge last night since she was hospitalized for a rare form of acute morning sickness. healthy-looking kate presented awards at the bbc's personality awards. it will be, of course, the first child for her and her husband, prince william. it was a record-setting weekend at the box office.
"the hobbit" grossed almost $85 million, the biggest december opening ever. "rise of the guardians" was runner up and oscar concerned "lincoln" was third. it's eight minutes after the weather. you're up-to-date on the other news. >> who would think that such a little guy with huge, hairy feet would make such a not a little >> let's show you what we have in your weather. two different storms, two different coasts. we have a big storm from the gulf up to new england. heavy weather down there. we are looking at snow into new england. one to two inches of rain across the southeast and out in the pacific northwest another big storm on shore bringing mountain snows and rain along the coast. we are talking one to two feet of snow. we have winter storm warnings, blizzard warnings, winter weather add viedsryes from the pacific northwest to utah and
colorado. we are looking for one to two feet of snow in the mountains and on the coast, one to two inches of rain. >> good morning. cloudy and foggy. i'm meteorologist tom kierein. we have a few sprinkles of rain in western maryland, way off to the west in the ohio valley. that's a front that will be arriving but not until this evening. before then we'll climb out of the 40s to near 50 in the mid and upper 50s this afternoon. then rain as the front gets closer this evening. ending after midnight. sun back tomorrow. breezy and cool. cool weather into thursday. >> and that's your latest weather. >> al, thank you very much. up next, how one local pastor is helping families get through this unspeakable tragedy in newtown. and later how parents can help themselves and their kids ho co with all of this. first, these messages. s cope with all of this. first, these messages. ♪
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a local pastor is doing all he can to help the residents of the newtown tight-knit community pick up the pieces from this tragedy. savannah is right there with him in newtown. good morning again. >> good morning, willie. as you mentioned i'm here with the reverend. it's good to see you. >> good morning. >> on one sense you're lucky none of the members of your congregation lost their lives but you have families who were affected, who went to this school, who work ed at the school. how are they doing this morning? >> well, many of them, you know, are wrestling with any number of issues and struggles, as you might imagine. some are doing better. some are still in more of a state of shock.
some of them are finding hard to talk about and some of them are finding that they're able to talk more. it really is a mix, depending on people and what their experiences were. we're trying to reach out to them and make sure that they have support both from our congregation and you also other resources that the town and the wider community is providing. >> you were part of this service last night, this interfaith service in this building behind us here. >> yes. >> why do you think that was important for the community to be together at a time like this? >> well, i think from my experience, even in smaller moments of grief and loss, people need to be together. just for the sake of just touch and connection. there is something that is healing just by being together, even being there last night, as you know, that experience was difficult and challenging for many people there who are grieving so significantly. and yet also that is need ed as
well, just to allow that, allow people in the midst of this really awful time of sorrow and grief to know that there are people with them and that we can gather and know that we're not alone. >> you helped plan and organize this. you're one of the ministers who invited the president to come and speak. what do you think that meant to the community? >> well, when we were approached by the president's people about him coming and taking part in the vigil, because they were willing not to have that happen, we felt it was important. for our own community, that having the president, who represents the leadership of our nation, to know that we as a community are held in that wider community, being together isn't just the people there last night but being held by folks in our nation and in our state, having the governor there as well, that was, i think, an important thing. we said, yeah, we need to do that, even though that presented a number of other challenges,
having him there was important. we allowed that to happen and felt it was important. >> one of the things that was so clear if you spent any time in this town at all is that this is a community of faith. that their relationship with god is incredibly important to them. can you even put into words how that is a source of comfort, especially at a time when it seems nothing could comfort the pain of something like this? >> yeah. you know, my example that i would use from our tradition -- and i think it's true in different ways of other faith traditions, is that this sunday for many of our churches, our christian churches, we lit our advent candle and many churches designate that candle as the joy candle. we sometimes think how can there be any joy in the midst of this moment of grief? for people of faith we know that's different than happiness.
happiness is a word, if you think about it, it means happenstance or haphazard, it's the same root word. it's dependent on circumstances and events going on around us. for people of faith, joy is something that we are held in because we know that god is with us in the midst of even the most awful of circumstances. and, thus, even in the midst of grief and terrible tragedy -- and even though we have no sense that we can be happy we have aa sense that there's an abiding joy that carries us, even when we don't experience it ourselves. and i think that's where faith is so rooted and why it's so important that people can know that they're held by something great greater than themselves. >> at the same time, circumstances like this sharply test the faith. >> sure. and in some ways, the faith also allows that. we allow people their full spectrum of emotions. we allow anger. we allow all those things to
happen. as i tell my people, god is bigger than all that. and god can take everything that we have. our tradition, scriptures show there are times when solomonists shake their fifths at god and are angry, upset and have disbelief and that's when we hold ourselves in aer fai riche faith, we can allow that to happen and that's an abiding faith that can sustain even in this most challenging time. it is a challenging time. we don't want to diminish that. we want to know it will take a long time for our people to heal and that our lives, the lives for many of us will never be the same. >> i know you are part of that healing and know that the prayers of the nation are with the members of your congregation and with this town. thank you for being on this morning. >> thank you. >> we'll send it back to you, willie. >> savannah, thanks. thanks to reverend crebbin.
i was struck when i was up there over the weekend how many howe personal this is to so many peop people, how tooit the community s whether or not you even had a child in that school or, god forb forbid, a child that was one of the victims, everyone knew somebody, a friend who played with the kids. >> it's devastated, the community. the loss there is devastating. it will be very hard over the next couple of months, years even there, i imagine. >> you see these children. these are our children. >> right. >> it's very difficult. when the president just called them by their first name, we all know kids with just that first name. >> incredibly powerful. st. rose of lima church, one that was high profiled this weekend will host ten funerals this week. >> so hard to imagine. >> we'll be back with much more of "today." first these messages. go olive garden's 2 for $25. an italian dinner for 2. start with all the fresh salad and warm breadsticks you want. choose an appetizer made for sharing.
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charities ov charities often overlooked by the big toy drives. kate, good to see you again. >> great to be back. >> you're helping out with gifts not just for teens but younger kids that can give to mom and dad? >> that's right. that's right. we donated quite a bit of product, but more importantly this year we're excited about our new charitable foundation. this is actually an angel fragrance where we're donating funds for the purchase of this, but we donated some of these also for the toy drive, to give to their moms and dads -- moms. and we're excited because it's all about girls and boys self esteem. we have several from our company and sales force that are giving back. it's so important as you know on this special day. this is an angel. we call our volunteers angels. there's many angels in the world. >> wonderful. >> thank you so much. we want to remind you to donate to our toy drive by this friday in person or online at amazon.com. details are on website. much-needed comfort food in
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this is a news 4 newsbreak. >> it is 9:26 on monday, december 17. in our headlines, the redskins are in first place. they beat the cleveland browns 38-21 yesterday, improving to 8-6 on the season. kirk cousins filled in for robert griffin, iii, recovering from a sprained knee. he threw two touchdown passes in his first pro start. it's been a rough morning on the roads. danella? >> good morning. still seeing problems southbound cherokee avenue at edsull road in virginia. all lanes blocked by the crash there. also as you are traveling in damascus, you have ridge road and oak drive. head-on collision blocking all lanes. some relief is coming soon at clagett farm drive. the downed wires should be
back now with more of "today" on this monday, the 17th of december, 2012. we are inside studio 1a. i'm al roker alongside willie geist and natalie morales. parents are around the country, coping with the tragedy in newtown. >> it's a conversation we all have been having this morning and parents across the country are as well. it's been so hard to come to grips with how something like this could happen. and one of the things i think we're all asking ourselves is how do we talk about this with our kids? coming up, we'll have expert advice for parents on how they and their kids can cope. >> wondering how much to share or whether to share at all. we'll get into all of that. we actually thought with such a tough few days in the country might be a good time to make a little comfort food for you. we'll make some delicious recipe that is ought to taste good in
"today's" kitchen. a lot of people may be making resolution to save some cash. we've got things you can do right now before the year even ends to grow that nest egg. >> first al has a check of the weather >> checking out first of all today, we have a real mess along the eastern seaboard. look for strong storms from the tennessee river valley into the southeast. snow in northern new england. out west a big storm bringing mountain snows up to one to two feet in the northwest. rain into california which will continue tomorrow. more cold and snow. frigid conditions through the rockies. snow on the northern tier of states in the plains. look for snow to continue in northern new england. wet weather in the midatlantic and northeast. look for sunshine and warmth to return to the gulf coast on into the mississippi river valley. that's what's going on around the country. >> good morning. we have areas of dense fog persisting across virginia and maryland this morning. parts of west virginia. we'll have a possibility of rain
moving in but probably not until after sun set. in the 40s to near 50 now. highs later today into the 50s. rain after sunset ending after midnight tonight. tomorrow, the sun returns. a gusty wind with highs in the 50s. 50 again on wednesday and thursday. turning much >> and that's your latest weather. >> al, thank you. coming up next, how parents can cope and what to say, and what don't you say in light of the school shooting tragedy? right after this. [ female announcer ] why settle for plain bread?
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i spent the better part of the last three days in newtown, connecticut. i can tell you that everybody in that small, tight knit group is taking this like it happen eded one of their own children. couple of miles from sandy hook elementary we found the home of diana mackey, her son in college now cut through the woods every day to get to sandy hook, which is really just a few hundred yards away. she said she and her husband taught her kids to drive in the school parking lot and to play baseball on the field there. diana, joined by her friend and another former sandy hook parent, joanne laskey, reflected on the school that was and now is. >> you shared with us a
photograph, your son. >> yes. >> class of 2002. >> yeah. >> this is at sandy hook. tell me about this picture. >> it was graduation time. fifth grade graduation. there they are all, the class of 2002. and beautiful. beautiful, sunny day. beautiful school, beautiful memories. life was so simple. school was supposed to be a wonderful place for your child to go to and be safe. and now just looking at this picture, it's sad because i can't imagine another fifth grade graduation ever being like that for anyone, ever. >> happened in such a blink of an eye, their world changed. how does a parent cope and help
the children cope after such a tragedy? dr. robin l. smith is a psychologist, author and trauma expert. good to see you this morning. >> good to be here, although for a tremendously, horrific reason. >> all three of us are parents of children of various ages and we want to talk about it with you. i have a 5-year-old and 3-year-old. i haven't said much of anything to my 5-year-old. i don't think she's ready for it, although she'll go to school today. >> i did the same thing with my little one. although he saw me crying watching the coverage. he wasn't watching it. and he said, mom, you're sad. why are you sad? and i said a bad man did bad things to some people and i'm sad for those people. and the older is 9 years old, he asked me a couple more questions. but i really wanted him to have sort of a normal day. and i think the normalcy of life and the holidays approach iing s
important for him. >> my oldest is 25. she, obviously, understands it all and really upset about it. 14-year-old, we've talked to her about it. my son is 10 and his class -- you know, they've got learning issues and -- we're not sure how much they're going to hear about it in school and have kind of taken the tact that we didn't talk to him about it, but if he comes home with some questions that's when we're going to start to talk about it. >> one of the things that the three of you are mentioning, and i've been talking about it all weekend since this happened is the issue of making room for the conversation. not our conversation, but the conversation that our children are going to need to have with us. sometimes as adults, we decide how they're going to feel. they're going to feel our feelings, our trauma, our sorrow. and what we really want to do is create a safe environment to hear what are their questions. one of the things i'm suggesting that parents do and schools and after-school programs do,
creating an environment not only where you can ask, how are you feeling? what are you thinking about this? but also maybe create iing a question box where it can be anonymous. >> that's good. >> where a kid could go. you hear a lot of things -- i'm also an ordained minister. i'm a psychologist, ordained minister, i do television. one of the things that i'm aware of is that there are a lot of things we want to know that we are way too afraid to ask and issues around faith. if kids are hearing something about maybe these people that were murdered are in a better place, well, what's that mean for me when my sister or my brother -- a better place? but they're not here with me. they're not at the table. they're not at hanukkah. they're not at christmas. how do we create a safe environment so we can let them know that there aren't any bad questions, any stupid questions, any unwise questions. we want to hear their voice. >> one of the other questions we will hear is, am i safe at school?
can this happen to me? i heard one very poignant thing where one child said there are monsters, aren't there, mommy? how can you reassure your child? >> kids are so honest. they're so unharmed in the way -- >> they're innocent. >> they are innocent. part of what's been robbed from all of us is even our innocence. there's a way we walk around as adults and all of a sudden not only is the child's innocence gone but there's something about the four of us that are sitting up here this morning, something was taken. and so when a child asks that kind of question, it's important to give them a real answer. kids know when we're telling the truth. if we overpromise, that will shut the conversation down. if we say mommy and daddy are going to do everything we can to keep you safe, to keep our home safe, to make sure that the school is safe. that's very different than saying nothing will ever happen to you.
kids immediately know, really? i mean, really? can you really promise that? and the answer is no, we can't. we can say for the rest of your life, i'm going to be walking with you. >> grateful to have you here this morning. these conversations will be happening at dinner tables across the country tonight. >> absolutely. >> dr. smith, thank you. >> appreciate it. we'll be back after this. together. te ♪ tell me i've still got it. that our traditions matter. tell me you love me for who i am. that you can't wait to be home. tell me you're glad i've joined your family. even if i can't be there this year. just tell me. [ female announcer ] for everything they need to hear, there's a hallmark card. sure, bisquick makes delicious pancakes, but that's just the start. unleash the hidden power of bisquick. see what you can make at bisquick.com.
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save money for the new year want some tips. sharon epperson with cnbc has some expert advice. >> use your points toward gift card purchases. the thing is you've got to hurry up. you want to make sure that that actual card arrives forn time for the holiday. if you are a little late, you can also do an e-certificate at many of these retailers and companies like american express, discover, they may allow you to get a gift card worth $25 for only $20. you can find some discounts now. shop around. that's a great way to do the shopping. >> i just did that. good time to sell some winning investments? >> a lot of folks are looking at what is this fiscal cliff going to mean for me? it will mean higher taxes on long-term capital gains as well as dividends. if you want to milk sure that you lock in some of those gains now, now might be the time if you were already planning to sell some investments, to do it
now. you never make an investment decision just based on taxes. talk to a professional about it. it's something to consider. >> what if you're self employed? >> this is a great time to say i want my payments now in december instead of in january. accelerate your income into 2012 to make sure, again, you're paying the lowest tax that is you can. >> what about converting all or part of your ira to a roth? >> this is a big one. so many people are talking about this. it's often talked about at the end of the year. you want to know, perhaps, if i'm going to go into a higher tax bracket, will it be better to have a retirement fund that allows me to take out the money tax free? the beauty of converting it is that you are going to be able to have a tax-free retirement fund. the issue is that you're going to have to pay taxes on that pretax money that's already in a traditional ira. it's something you need to talk to a tax professional about. a lot of folks are looking if my tacks are going up next year or years to come, i want to try to get the roth advantage. if you decide taxes are going to come down and i don't want a
roth ira -- >> can you undo it? >> -- you can undo it by april 15g9. >> something that is questionable with the fiscal cliff, if it will go away or not. maximize that tax credit, american opportunity credit worth $2,500. if you haven't paid for the full tuition for 2012, now is the time to do it, if you're thinking about maybe i could prepay the 2013 tuition, some of it, and get the tax break, that's something to consider. if you're really close, now maybe it's time to get the new laptop. >> another gift. >> exactly. >> very nice. sharon epperson, cnbc. comfort food in the kitchen. first, "today" on nbc.
this morning in "today's" kitchen, step by step. it feels like a pretty good day for a little comfort food. we've got feel good recipes. gail simmons from food and wine magazine and bravo's top chef says you can make dinner with what you have in your fridge already. it's rainy, cold in the northeast. >> the world needs some love. >> the world needs some mac n cheese. >> that's right. >> what are we doing here? >> this is a classic recipe. the thing that makes it extra special is i'm going to bake them in mini muffin tins. they're great to eat ooet with your kids, great for portion control and really easy. i buttered my muffin tin. take some cheese and sprinkle it into the tins. we're going to dump it out and tap it out. that will add that extra salty, crunchy crust when we bake it.
tap it over the sink just like that so it's nice and coated. i have the base for my cheese sauce, butter, flour, three-quarters cup of milk. it's nice and thick. dump in two kinds of cheeses. classic american cheese, nostalgi nostalgic. you can't go wrong. throw around the cheese. and sharp cheddar, sharp white cheddar. throw it right in. you're going to stir that all up so it's nice and melted. once it comes together, i'm going to turn off the heat, actually, so i don't burn it. then i'm going to throw in one egg. put that in right there. >> just the yolk here? >> just the yolk, exactly. and a little bit of paprika. that gives it a great little added spice, little kick. once it's all melted up together that is the base of your sauce. >> is there a lot of butter in there? >> there's actually only 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter. there's cheese, and milk.
it's rich but there's not a lot of butter. saucy, cheesy sauce. there's my cooked pasta. just drain it. pull it up and knock it about -- there you go. and pour it right into the pot. >> how long do you boil the pasta there? >> you have to keep watching it. depending on -- big macaroni will take longer, big elbows. these are little ones. it takes really only about seven minutes. the key is to watch it and taste it often. >> do you put salt or olive oil in there while you boil it? >> always salt your water really well then you don't need to salt your dish. there's also salt in the cheese remember. >> got it. >> take my spoon, put it into the muffin tins, bake it for about ten minutes on high. >> come on in, guys. >> our stage manager had plates and forks already. she was told by tara, our other stage manager, bring plate. >> throw tara right under the bus. good.
>> those get baked. they come out, or you can make a big one. >> great for the kids, as you said. >> no muss, no fuss. thank you very much. >> how beautiful pot pie with ch cheddar biscuits. this is also delicious on a cold day. have a taste. and, of course, classic chicken soup with homemade, rich broth. if you are getting a little bit of that winter cold this will pick you right up. >> you won't be able to get out the door anyway. >> that's right. might as well eat some soup. >> delicious. >> we needed this today. gail, thank you for bringing us comfort this morning. >> we'll be back after your local news and weather.
this is a news 4 news break. >> 9:57 is the time on this monday, december 17, 2012. good morning. we have a wet start to your work week. let's go to tom kierein with your forecast. tom, good morning. >> good morning. it is damp and foggy. these are the visibilities approaching 10:00 this morning. they are beginning to improve. now three-mile visibility at reagan national. around the bay it's a quarter mile still. it will be improving through the day. 40s to near 50. later in the mid 50s or so by mid afternoon. rain likely moving in tonight and ending predawn on tuesday. sun back tomorrow with a
blustery wind over the weekend turning much colder. danella, how's traffic? >> checking on problems southbound cherokee at edsel road. all lanes blocked by the accident in the area. then shooting over to damascus, ridge road at okay drive. all lanes blocked because of the head-on collision. better news across american legion bridge. looking better outer and inner loop. no issues to report here. >> downward dog when
from nbc news this is "today" with kathie lee gifford and hoda kotb. captions paid for by nbc-universal television hello, everybody. it's monday. it's december 17th, an incredibly sad day all across america, and it seems like the whole world in light of what happened, the terrible tragedy in newtown, connecticut. we're just iffing to -- hoda and i are just going to send our love to everybody here today and try to make a little bit of sense out of the senseless along the way. >> i think, you know, we've been hearing the news all weekend, and it's been so difficult to even be a bystander and listen, and i think the hard thing for all of us -- and i know even me at he -- when hurricane sandy hit, you could do something.
you could send clothes, money. you could physically help them clean up. in this case you want to do something, but you're peeking into this really tragic, sad world, and the only thing i think a lot of people and parents can do is hug their kids and pray for those families, and i think there's a weird sort of -- don't you feel like a helpless feeling? you want to do something, and there's nothing worse than standing watching someone who is in pain and not being able to lean in and help. >> i tell you, anybody that was complaining about anything before this happened, it puts everything into perspective, doesn't it? and the fact that there were not only 20 precious little lives, innocent little children, but six adults as well, and all women, all of them were somebody's daughter, somebody's sister, somebody's wife, and probably somebody's mother as well. we know that for the principal. >> there was a woman who was on "60 minutes," but she was sitting at her desk, and she heard the pop, pop, pop, and she was in one of the offices.
she ducked underneath her desk, and you know the little -- there's a little area where cables come through when you have like a computer. she could see his feet, and they were pointed at her. she said she just stood there, and she didn't move. she said she didn't breathe, and he -- he was shooting, and he walked out. she was terrified. she walked in the supply closet, shut the door and stayed for four hours. she just sat in there, and she said she was afraid to open it. when she opened the door, she saw police, and they were as surprised to see her as she was so see them, and you think the people who survived are also traumatized. >> in a living hell, yes. as it unfolded, too, it seemed at first that it was -- i was almost imured to the concept, there's another school shooting. what's come in our nation, which it's just not unusual anymore to hear a mall shooting, you know. it seems -- it's accelerating. there's no question about it. when you look at the statistics around the rest of the world as well, i mean, evil knows no
physical boundaries. there's evil all over the world, but it's kind of sobering to realize -- i don't know if we're putting up statistics, or maybe we could just talk about them, but we are by far in america more instances of mass killings by far. >> i think the weird thing is when you hear about this gun control debate that's sort of a strange one because it seems like people are saying either you can have an oozie or you can have nothing, and it seems to me that probably both people can agree that somewhere in the middle you don't want somebody busting down your door and taking your stuff so you have a handgun in your house, but the idea these assault weapons is something that i think is troubling to a lot of people. >> well, we're certainly hearing the drumbeats of that now, and i think if this doesn't get us to a national dialogue about it, nothing will. as we are learning these children's names and we are seeing their pictures and we are hearing their parents talk about them, it is so real and so raw that this doesn't move us to
some sort of a sane analysis of the problem, that it's not just guns, it's also mental illness. >> there are a lot of issues. i think when president obama went to that -- when last night to newtown, and sometimes you wonder, like, how is he going to find the words? how are pastors many churches about going to find the words? it was funny. it was sort of the simplest thing that i think hit the most people. let's take a listen. something the president said. >> let the little children come to me, jesus said, and do not hinder them. for, to such belongs the kingdom of heaven. charlotte, daniel, olivia, josephine, ana, dylan,
madeleine, catherine, chase, jesse, james, grace, emilie, jack, noah, caroline, jessica, benjamin, avielle, allison. >> hmm. >> it was doing that last night i was thinking, month, not one more. not one more. 20 is just a number until you realize that -- >> yeah. >> their names. >> yeah. >> a lot of parents are sending their kids off or have already this morning sent their kids off to school, and it's got to be a scary thing because everything that this school did, sandy hook did, was right. i was just reading. >> beyond what many, many, many schools have done. they were really proactive about this. >> this one says here that sandy hook practiced lockdowns twice a year. once to prepare for a threat
coming from outside the school and once again in case the shooter was inside. the principal sent a letter to parents recently saying for increased security every visitor will be required to ring the doorbell at the front gate, she wrote. i mean, these people -- you talk about doing it right, they did exactly right. >> then she ultimately paid the greatest price with her own life. >> this tweet that i saw in a couple of places yesterday. i scratched it on a piece of paper. one twitter person wrote -- this is about, again, the one issue. one shoe bomber and we all take off our shoes at airports. 62 mass shootings over the years, but no gun laws changed. do you remember, right? do you remember the shoe bomber. now in every airport, action. like something changed. like you said, if not -- >> if this doesn't do it. yeah, this is something we all have to just stop being so just so crazy about in our own minds. some people are so -- about the
second amendment that they can't allow themselves to see any sort of way to compromise. >> right. >> other people are so the other way that they can't understand that people like to hunt and people want to feel safe in their own homes and they have a right to defend. yeah. it just seems to me years ago i thought to myself we'll get hate mail i'm sure about this, but get in line. you know, who needs -- what -- who needs an oozie? who needs machine guns unless it's the good guys trying to get the bad guys? >> right. >> you can't hunt with them. they destroy your prey. there's no reason for them except to destroy, anilate, even the ammunition was to have the maximum damage. do we want to be an obscene nation, or do we want to, as the president said last night, do we really want to care not just for our children, but the adults were innocent victims as well. we talk about the innocence of
children, but these women, they just showed up to go to work. >> protected those kids. yeah. it's hard to believe. they're already having a couple of -- two of the funerals today, and they were talking about how the funeral home is overwhelmed. just when you think of all that -- everybody this weekend wanted to do something. there were moments of silence all over -- a lot of people went to church who probably hadn't been in forever. >> ours was the most full i have ever seen it. >> viktor cruz, who was a hero to the little boy named noah -- >> jack pinto, i think. >> jack pinto, yeah. anyway, so on his shoe mr. cruz wrote jack pinto, my hero, and he said that little jack wanted to be buried in viktor cruz's jersey. you know, it's -- >> hoda, you count your blessings, and you pray for our nation as a whole, but my daughter came home from, you
know, being away studying, and took the red eye and comes bounding in at 7:30 in the morning on a saturday morning. grouchy because it's, what -- and just going up to her bedroom and getting in bed, and i just thought 20 families -- well, of children, that child will never come home. that child will never again get in its bed, and every opportunity you've had to love that child, to hold that child, to pray with that child, to wipe away that child's tears, it's gone. you run out of time. we don't -- we never think about it. we've got all the time in the world for this and this, and ultimately we all run out of time, and dwoent know when that will be, so the question is not when are you going to run out of time, but how are you going to spend the time you have? >> we hope we're going to have some advice for a lot of parents who are out there who do, a, feel helpless, b, feel scared to send their kids off to school, to the movies, to the mall, safe
places. i think there's also a question -- i know there's been a lot of talk about what to say to your kids, and, you know, there's an oversharing issue too, and the question is do you wait for your child to come to you and say, mom, what happened, because a lot of kids are in school right now, and some parents haven't had the discussion because they want to shield their child, and i get it, but they go to school, and another kid may say to your son or daughter, hey, this happened, and then your discussion may come tonight. >> it could be far more traumatic hearing it from someone else. >> right. i guess the question is you don't want them to be afraid because often, look, if the idea is they did everything right, they were safe and someone crashed their way through, then it didn't work. "saturday night live" had a strange task on saturday because they are -- sfoo they're all about comedy. >> yeah. >> they were coming on live, and they ended up starting with this beautiful tribute, and he know many of you probably have seen it by the new york city children's choir. they sang "silent night." let's take a listen.
♪ silent night holy night all is calm all is bright ♪ ♪ round yun virgin mother and child holy infant so tender and mild ♪ >> wow. beautiful. >> that's really beautiful. >> about the same age, maybe a little older than all the victims. >> interestingly, we both kind of -- >> already we have -- >> yeah. >> this is a book by ann lamott, and i just picked this up. i'm sort of running out of my office, and cathy, my assistant, handed it to me and said read this. three essential prayers if you are feeling blue. this book is such a great pick
me up. it's a good gift to give to a friend. she writes -- ann is a beautiful writer. >> she's such an instinctive writer. it's $10.25. you can get it on-line, and it will definitely help. especially around now. >> i had already set this aside to share as my favorite thing today. it's called god wink story, the devotional by my really good friend. they've been on our show many times. so many people think that life is random and that there are circumstances and coincidences, and squires thinks not. several books he has written on the whole concept. it's not coincidence, it's a god wink these things that are happening, and it could be a source of grace. these are stories who are people who read his other books and then write in and say let me tell you that once i read your book how i started to understand how this is realized in real-time in real life. it's nice. it's $10.19 at amazon.com. >> okay. >> and then sarah has something
for us too, don't you, sarah? >> i have a favorite thing. it's represented by this bracelet. it's a make a wish with gabriella. it's a little girl that i had the experience of being introduced to this weekend in d.c. she's battling brain tumor at 9, but it's been an example of a community coming together, and you'll hear more about this story, but if gu to her website -- you don't even need to do anything else. go to the facebook page, make a wish with gabriella, and the parents are telling her about these messages, and it's picking her up as she's going through treatment. if you write where you're from or just a little message to her, it's really been a bright spot, and everyone can do that. >> okay. thank you, sarah. it's hard to find a loving spirit right now, but i wasn't going show this, but i thought -- >> show it. >> it left everybody in the make-up room today. they try to help one another. that is louie trying to take bambino for a little walk in the back and to spread a little christmas cheer. they didn't get invest, but here's the point.
they made an attempt. they didn't make an inch. it's their heart that matters, and i think at the end of the day for all of us our hearts matter now. that's what god sees. he sees the heart, and every single one of us can go out somewhere today and touch somebody's life. maybe not in newtown, connecticut, but your town, usa. >> we can all do that. >> we're going to come back and we want to let you know how to help you talk to your kids right after this. turns the next person you see into john stamos for five seconds. honey! i think i'm getting burned! heh! eat. ♪ tastes pretty good, huh? ♪ best yogurt ever. yeah! [ men grunting ] open! [ male announcer ] dannon oikos berry flavors beat chobani 2 to 1 in a national taste test. oikos greek yogurt. possibly the best yogurt in the world. ♪ hark how the bells, sweet silver bells ♪
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child and adolescent psychologist, and author of "sanity savers, tips for women to live a balanced life wroish ". >> hi, ladies. >> good morning. >> some parents, again -- i know this just from friends of mine too, were trying to shield their children. >> out of love. >> they sent them to school today where the topic may or may not come up. >> likely the topic will come up if not even in the classroom with the teacher, but come up with other children. >> i can't see how it wouldn't. >> i think that it's very important for parents to listen when those kids come home, find out what they know, and address this issue, but, first, to calm themselves because the parent has to be really calm and present the information, minimal information, because they really are listening to their children, age appropriately, but they're the rock for their children so their children feel safe zoosh should you wait until they ask you about it, or should you say, hey, honey, we should have this discussion? >> i think what gale said is very important. i think you might have to bring it up in a way that says, hey, you might have heard some stuff about things that are going on in connecticut. can you tell me what they've
heard? ask the question so you don't make sumses that they know what they do. you may provide a lot of information because that relooez your own feelings of anxiety and it makes them feel worse or like they have to be more worried or have to be more concerned. ask them first. listen before you talk. it's really important. >> our children are used to, i think, hearing about tragedies, but i remember walking in on a little girl that lives at our house, julie, who is just precious. she just was homesick that day, and so she came into the kitchen and was sitting and watching. next thing i know she's sitting in front of the television completely traumatized, and i'm holding her hand. she says, but they're just kids. >> this is one of the reasons that you really don't want to have your children watching this kind of reporting because it's nonstop. for two reasons. number one, it looks as if this is all going on and that this is happening all over, and the second thing is how does a child process this information? they don't have the coping strategies that adults have, and we need to shield them. thank god you held her hand. >> what about parents now that
have more anxiety obviously than ever before. the malls are out there. the movie theaters, the schools. things that you're supposed to send your child to be safe. how can a parent feel comfortable sending their child out? >> we don't live in a bubble. we can't wrap them in bubble wrap like we could if we were wrapping them in a box. at some level we have to go back with a leap of faith and say the good outweighs the bad much more, and the good will prevail much more often. all these bad things that are happening are happening. they seem to be happening all the time, and they're happening far less frequently than the good stuff. you have to just take that breath and say i'm going to give it a shot and hopefully hope for the best and hope that everything is okay. >> when you take that breath, don't deny your own feelings. you still may be worried. it's that you don't project that on to your children and -- >> right. >> of course. it's to try and make your child as safe as possible. you will worry, but how are you projecting that. how is your child reading you and take those breaths and calm yourself. talk to other adults. don't necessarily put that on to your child because your child
can't handle it. >> there are parents that can't handle it. a lot of people are falling apart over this. >> understandably, but let them not fall afarther in front of their children. let them help have other people come -- >> use your partner, your friends. a lot of the schools are putting in grief counselors. use all the resources that are at your availability because you do need to be able to be level-headed, be calm when you are dealing with a child who might not be level-headed or calm. >> kids want to do something to help. they can really help. >> have yard sales, back sales, whatever. >> pay it forward in good deeds. >> they can make contributions for the holidays and write letters to the families. that helps them also feel. >> thanks so much. >> we'll be back with more of "today" right after this. [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso.
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with the great taste of cheerios. >> we are back on this monday on "today." the tragedy at sandy hook broke all of our hearts and shock the world, and, yet, she's shootings seem to happen way too often. from the campus of virginia tech, your alma mater, to a manufacture theater in aurora, colorado, or a shopping mall in happy valley, oregon. mroo whether it's stricter gun laws or better mental health care, what can we do to make sure things like this don't happen? lisa belkin is a senior columnist at the huffington post and jeff is a clinical psychologist. hi. >> welcome to you both. >> good morning. >> this is one of those things where people -- this is the first real -- at least in a long time, debate about gun control because when you hear about all this stuff -- >> since columbine. >> people want to know what they can do. >> even columbine, it was more a discussion about bullying and government culture and video games. i think this is one parents
can't hide from. there's nothing we can say that says that could never happen to me because. everybody -- so i think that may just make this the moment that we're actually going to have to do something. >> maybe some good can come from this. >> that's exactly what i'm seeing, but it is bringing up a lot of issues for parents who are dealing with teenagers who have mental illness and fly below the radar, who may not stay on medication. those parents are really frustrated because they're screaming and crying for help, and we're not able to deliver that with our mental health services. we have to step up. >> right. excuse me. this kid, who was 20 years old, adam lanza, 20 years old, and legally can a parent do anything to a child? >> you can't. what can you do if your child is over the age of 18? >> if you are a danger to yourself or others, you can be involuntarily put into a hospital, but quite often they're at that level where they
may be hallucinating, maybe dell usual, but they may not be that danger to themselves or others at that particular time. we can't get them into the hospital. they continue to compensate, and then we have this sort of horrific situation. >> i think people are watching all this stuff and feeling helpless. i mean, number one, we can't help the people because, you know, there's no helping there except for sending your love and prayers. >> you can never bring the victims back. >> there are issues surrounding it that it seems like people want to do or say something. on the gun issue, what is it? no matter where you stand on it, what can people do physically? if they want to do something. >> not have guns in your own home is your one start. i went on facebook and asked what can with we do now, and hundreds of people responded, and most of them said why is it possible to buy a gun in this country that can kill dozens of people without reloading it? >> you are talking about assault type weapons. i do believe people can have a
gun in their home. >> it doesn't have to be an either/or situation. >> that is how it sounded. assault weapons. >> why -- well, i think that parents can rethink whether or not they want a gun in their home if there are kids in their home. i think that's something -- >> what if someone comes into their home that wants to kill their children. do they not have a right to use a firearm? >> you asked what people can do. i think they can think seriously about these questions in ways that perhaps they wouldn't have thought about them last week. >> and i think the conversation is becoming, well, maybe it's not so much about challenging the second amendment, but looking at what can we do in our homes with our guns? how do we keep our homes safer? do we need to have the assault weapons? here's the most important thing. when it comes to the background checks, it's not just about looking at whether someone was placed in a hospital involuntarily or found not to be competent, which is the question that they ask. it really is about does the person have the proper balance, emotional balance, to be able to
own a gun? that's a major responsibility. we have to look at not just mental health issues, but mental stability, and that goes beyond just looking at whether someone has schizophrenia or not, for example. >> his mother's guns, though, bought legally. >> we're not going to fix this in four minutes, but we -- i think we are starting to have two really important conversations. one about guns, and one about mental health. in general the culture of violence. >> when you talk about what happened overseas, there were mass shootings overseas in london and scotland, other places, and they took action and results -- >> in both of those countries, that was their clarion call, and they then went on to ban assault weapons, and in australia after the ban on assault weapons, there has not been a mass shooting in 16 years. i mean, that number to me is persuasive. >> definitely. >> it proves that we have to look at numbers and say what -- are there guns for the reasons we want them out there, or are there guns out there because
we're afraid to start the conversation? >> in effect, we really are not powerless. we may feel that way now, and it's natural to feel that way, but we have to make the hard decisions. we have to protect people's rights, all of their lives, but there's a smarter way and a better way to do that. especially when you hear these statistics coming out of the u.k., for example. >> we need to look very hard and fast at our culture in general. it's a culture of deep decca dense and violence. >> we need to look within our families. we don't want to get into blaming the victim here, but we also have to be a little more discerning as to keeping weapons in the home with people who may not be stable enough to have the judgment to use them properly. >> okay. all right. >> thanks, everybody. >> thank you. >> appreciate it. a holiday salute to our troops from wrestling superstar right after this. lots of different waysare to say get well to your loved ones. ♪ this came for you, mommy.
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of $299 or more on your walmart credit card and get no interest if paid in full within 12 months. america's gift headquarters. walmart. this reduced sodium soup says it may help lower cholesterol, how does it work? you just have to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup. wwe superstar john cena ranks among the top seven athletes in the world with more than 13.5 million facebook fans and 3 million twitter followers. wow. >> more importantly, is he a great guy who does an enormous amount of good, and now is he starring in wwe's tenth anniversary tribute to the troops holiday special. take a look. >> every man, woman, and child in here, stand and be recognized for your importance to this great country.
we love you guys. thank you so much. ♪ >> how adorable is he? >> i fight for a living. >> you fight for a living. >> he is a pussy cat. >> what a great show, by the way. >> it's our tenth year doing it, and especially -- i mean, i've been watch this show all morning, especially with the saddening times this weekend, i think us as a nation we're looking for hope and we're looking for positive thought in all of this. this is our tenth year in affiliation with the armed forces. we always spend a week with them. we get to know them, whether it's on base or whether it's in a conflict zone. this year we were in naval station norfolk. this special airs on december 19th on usa at 9:00 p.m. and also airs december 22nd on nbc at 9:00 p.m., and it is just that. it is a great entertaining show that provides hope, that recognizes the strength of the united states armed forces and
gives thanks. >> this is personal to you, this cause. why? >> it is. i believe in the code of conduct of the military. on our television show i preach hustle, loyalty, and respect, which is simply a different version of honor, code, and country. i'm a proud patriot, and like i said, in these saddest times in our country, we all look for reasons to believe in something positive, and i like this special. >> it's not just the troops you love and support, but you do an awful lot of work with the make a wish foundation. >> absolutely. >> you're used to seeing kids that are -- >> we're in the public eye, and our program is pg all the way through, so we meet a lot of children, and i can't tell you how flattering it is if you were given one wish, that child is to meet and spend time with john cena. >> you say pg, john, and we've been talking about the culture of violence that we have. >> yep. >> in our nation. your profession has been criticized a great deal for in some ways encouraging that. how do you make yours pg and not
as violent as some of the things we see? >> pg has to do with content, and although i have a black eye to show for my conflict last night, we are openly an entertainment company. we brand ourselves as an entertainment company, and we want families to enjoy the entertainment. the stories are good versus evil. the stories of letting the audience be entertained with us. in the past when it wasn't so publicized that we were entertainment, oftentimes kids would see what we do and try to emulate it at school or at home. we are openly campaigning. we are professionals. do not try this at home, school, or anywhere, but you can come and enjoy the stories and the content of the product is families. >> very nice to meet you. >> thanks for all the good you do. god bless. sfoo tribute to the troops airs on our sister channel usa wednesday, december 19th, at 9:00, 8:00 central. >> prosecute personalized jewelry to gadgets and a complete gift guide for all the hodas on your list. >> oh, really? we're at walmart with the simmons family. how much is your current phone bill? four sixteen seventy six a month!
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♪ i don't want a lot for christmas ♪ >> in today's holiday gift guide, christmas is just eight days away, and if there are still some ladies on your list that you need to shop for, we've got you covered. we've enlisted three ladies to find the perfect presents for the gals in your life, so i'm going to start with gifts to help you relax. from chef and author and all-around do-good lady cathleen bailman. nice to see, cathleen. >> thanks so much for having me back. >> sure. you always bring stuff that also -- you get what you want, but it also does some good for someone else. >> it really does. i try to choose really great companies. the first one is blacky baby. this is are from a woman who was battling cancer for the third time. he came home with these beautiful cups. she then formed a company. each glassy baby is either a candle holder, a vase, a nice wine glass for a nice shart nay. this is a u.s. small company that's given over $1 million to charity. >> a little company doing big,
big good. >> really, really good things. >> i love it. these are gorgeous too. >> this is yankee candle that was started by a 17-year-old boy who melted his crayons for his monday. >> michael kitridge is one of my dearest friends. it's a true story. he now owns cringele candle. go ahead. >> i'm learning from you. we have a beautiful collection, and they're known for their apothacary jars with the big label, but they are design-minded, and they have a clean selection. $5 flat rate shipping right now. 20% off their living by candlelight collection. >> moving on. >> and then orrin audio. this was "time magazine" 50 best invention. they have an amazing special. the rocket is an orange thing that you clip on to a lampshade or cookie sheet or a guitar, and it will turn it into a speaker. custom headphones. you design them. these are called design ears. >> they took a shot. >> picture there of hoda. >> we're running out of time.
can you move on? just want to get to everything. >> this is about 100% pure. this is a wonderful berkeley, california, company. if you wouldn't eat it, don't wear it. they have a beautiful line of cosmetics. absolutely everything is 20% off, and free shipping guaranteed by christmas. >> okay. we have chocolates and we have some calvin klein. we don't have time for them, but they'll be on our website. sorry. >> okay. >> all righty. to hoda. want to leave some time for her. >> digital and lifestyle expert carly noblock is here for tech tools for the women who like gadgets. i met your whole entire family. >> it was a lovely thing. i wish i had been there. >> giving away magazines is always nice. >> so instead of a stack of making sfwleenz for the price of two or three, you get dozens of them. plus, all the back issues. this is a company called next issue. $9. 9 or $14.99 a month. you have access to dozens and dozens of magazines very much. >> they're all in there. the mechanics thing i want to show you is sensi brush.
if you like digital art, i'm going to give you this. >> what happens? >> you can use this brush, and you get these realistic effects like a paint brush. $40. >> look what i'm doing. >> cool, right? >> all right. >> gorgeous. >> this is a smart flower pot. >> it's not like a chia pet? >> if you put a plant cartridge in here, and then you're xleelgs out of the picture. it talks to the plant directly and tells it how much water it needs, how much fertilizer. you grow beautiful things, herbs and tomatoes and stuff. >> really for the lazy -- i love. >> yep. this is an incredible really tiny and packed full of features camera from vivitar. 16 mega pixels, 1080 p video and a nice price point. >> adorable. it has a little case. >> this is an adorable little health and fitness called the fit pit zip. it will track your distance and your calories burned and your fat take-in, and you can share
that with your friends and challenge each other and keep track of your health and fitness goals. oh, hot. >> nobody told me. >> so this is the cuisinart. it's $99. it has six preset temperatures. you can get the temperature just right if are you doing delicate tea or coffee. >> these are the headsets that you can listen to your music. >> headphones, and hats that have ear muffs and headphones in them, and these gloves are all techie, so you can text in the cold. they have conductive thread that runs through them so you can -- >> tell your family hey from me again. >> $25 to $98. >> all right where i jsh. >> i'm here with robin who has gifts for new moms. she's had a baby five weeks ago. look at her beautiful baby girl olive. good to see. what do you have for us? >> if you are like me, you probably have 100 photos in your phone, but actually you can get them made into art instantly with a new app called photos to art. you just send your picture from instagram or iphone and it gets
made and sent to you just in time for christmas, and this one is only $50. that's a great deal. thank you so much. >> if you are a working mom, then you can actually take your kid with you every day with the personalized journals. we have journals and some stationery. this is henry. >> little henry. >> if you are like me, slightly sleep-deprived, so this is the updated version of a sticky or a dry erase. it's called a video memory recorder. you can leave yourself messages, and you can magnetically stick it on to your frig. >> running out of time. >> this is amazing jewelry that moms and kids can actually enjoy. it's made out of silicone, so kids can chew on it. photo lock ets are trending right now. new charm bracelets, and we have a variety from red envelope starting from $40, which is a great deal. moms want to get their shape back. >> you got back in shape in five weeks. how? >> these are magic pants. these are called hold your haurchlgs, and so basically they have a compression layer basically from the ankle all the way to your waist, so it sucks you in, and it looks like you
basically weigh ten pounds less. >> i'm going to take five pairs of those home. >> mom kz stroll in style with these awesome stroller mittens from a company called 7:00 a.m. >> oh, darling. >> you don't have to wear gloves. you can actually -- >> that's adorable. >> machine washable, which is great. >> thank you. congratulations for little olive. back in a moment. first, this is "today" on nbc.
sflirchlts our toy drive is in its final week, and we are rushing to get a gifts to needy children all over the united states. i think we're going to be doing fedex from now on. >> helping us get gifts is larry rosen, chairman and founder of crazy art and his adorable son brandon is with him. he is going to be a rock star someday. girls will be climbing all over him. justin bieber. >> tell us what you are donating this year, hon. >> we're proud to give over
40,000 arts and crafts toys to children. this is very exciting. it's about giving back, and the kids are so important to us, so krazy art, we're striving to give arts and crafts, but also this year we're giving light bricks. >> these they don't make, they just come this way, right? or they asem hellsemble this? >> it allows the children to make their own products. for example, you have a jet fighter or a race car or building. the kids create an entire light-up city. >> or rock star stuff. >> yep. >> you like that, brandon? >> yeah. >> you actually play the piano, right? >> i play the piano and i sing. >> you sing too. of course, you do. >> around the right age too, isn't he? >> we want to thank you for everything you do. >> it's our pleasure to be here. thank you for having us. >> just four days left to help out a child in need through our toy drive. you can come in person or something to our website for details and donate. and coming up tomorrow, actor seth roguan, big movie with barbara streisand, and all